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Language Education and Assessment Research Center

The Language Education and Assessment Research Center at ETS promotes effective, fair and equitable language teaching, learning and assessment worldwide, with a focus on English as well as other languages. The center's staff seeks to generate knowledge and to develop, evaluate, and improve technologies and resources necessary for helping individuals of all ages succeed in their language-learning endeavors.

Goals and Focus Areas

  • Develop and improve language education research, including:
    • language learning
    • education theory and practice
    • language assessment theory and practice
  • Meet critical needs of individuals and institutions worldwide by applying knowledge to the development and evaluation of:
    • language teaching and learning programs
    • language assessments
  • Develop solutions to the challenges of language learners in nonlanguage assessments and education settings by providing equitable access and opportunity in education, vocation and other life pursuits
  • Provide intellectual leadership in scholarly disciplines related to language assessment, education and learning through widespread communication and service

Research

The center's staff engage in a wide range of research related to language test design, development and validation. This work includes:

  • consideration of innovative language constructs
  • design of technology-enhanced tests, scoring and feedback
  • research focused on construct validity, fairness and test use

Their learning-oriented research includes a focus on learners' interpretation and use of feedback, language assessment literacy and efficacy of teacher training programs.

The staff also contribute research support to the development and delivery of new products and services. Recent examples include the:

  • TOEFL® Essentials test
  • TOEFL® ProPlacer assessment
  • English Language Artificial Intelligence (ELAi) language learning app
  • online teacher development course Teaching Academic English with the TOEFL iBT® Test

Learn more about the Language Education and Assessment research supports ETS assessments:

Publications

Researchers regularly publish their work in journals, books and other forums. Many examples of this research can be found in the following series.

Grants and Awards

ETS and the TOEFL® Board sponsor several grants and awards each year for work in foreign or second language research, and international higher education. Learn about TOEFL Grants and Awards.